New York and Sydney – April 13, 2016 – SundanceTV and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC TV) together announced that the drama series “Cleverman” will launch in the United States on SundanceTV on Wednesday, June 1 at 10/9c, and in Australia on ABC and ABC iview on Thursday, June 2 at 9.30pm.
Set in the near future, “Cleverman” is a startlingly original drama rooted in Aboriginal mythology. The series depicts a deeply conflicted and anxious society, fearful of a minority group living among them, endowed with extraordinary physical traits. One young man – The Cleverman – struggles with his own power and the responsibility to unite this divided world, but he must first overcome a deep estrangement from his older brother. The series is based on an original concept by Ryan Griffen.
“‘Cleverman’ is that rare feat of a well-crafted genre series that reimagines what a superhero is, and a compelling character drama that also has something important to say about the world we live in today. Ryan Griffen’s use of Aboriginal mythology as a way into the larger issue of how we treat indigenous and immigrant populations makes for a very potent piece of storytelling from a very authentic voice that is both entertaining and relevant,” said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV. “We are proud to share this with audiences in the U.S. at the same time as our partners in Australia.”
“‘Cleverman’ marks a new era for Australia’s production sector, inviting audiences to experience a bold new story-world where Aboriginal storytelling meets high concept genre drama. With an 80% Indigenous cast, ‘Cleverman’ sets the benchmark for diversity on Australian television, and its contemporary themes set in the near future will resonate widely amongst diverse audiences. We are delighted that our co-partners SundanceTV will screen the show to its US audiences in line with when our Australian audiences will experience it. A global television event for an Indigenous authored show…we’re excited!” said Sally Riley, Head of Indigenous, ABC TV.
“I have a huge love of superheroes and comics. It got me thinking about creating something cultural that my young son could connect to on a superhero basis,” said Ryan Griffen, Concept Originator. “I wanted to bring something Aboriginal, Indigenous, to that world. As the son of a light-skinned Aboriginal man and a light-skinned Aboriginal woman, it was important for me that my son had a cultural superhero that he could look up to as a young Aboriginal person… something he could connect to that was also entertaining.”
“Cleverman” features an ensemble cast led by award-winning actor Iain Glen (“Game of Thrones”), Golden Globe® nominee Frances O’Connor (“The Missing”), Deborah Mailman (The Sapphires), Hunter Page-Lochard (The Sapphires), Rob Collins and Stef Dawson (The Hunger Games). Wayne Blair, director of the Australian box office hit The Sapphires and upcoming film Septembers of Shiraz, is lead director, with acclaimed director, writer, actress and performer Leah Purcell also directing. The series is produced by Goalpost Pictures Australia and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures for ABC TV Australia in co-production with SundanceTV and Red Arrow International, with the assistance of Screen Australia, Screen NSW and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant. Red Arrow International distributes “Cleverman” worldwide.
Since its launch in 1996, SundanceTV has remained true to founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity and distinctive storytelling through unique voices and narratives found in the best independent films. From delivering critically acclaimed Emmy®, Golden Globe® and Peabody Award-winning television featuring some of the world’s most talented creators and performers, to showcasing some of the most compelling and iconic films across genres and generations, SundanceTV is a smart and thought-provoking entertainment destination. SundanceTVis owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.; its sister networks include AMC, IFC, BBC America and WE tv. SundanceTV is available across all platforms, including on-air, online at www.sundance.tv, on demand and mobile.
About ABC TV
As the national broadcaster of Australia, ABC TV is the home of Australian conversations, culture and stories, delivering commercial-free, free-to-air screen content via a multiplatform multi-channel network. ABC TV is the destination of choice for viewers and users seeking quality and diversity in screen content; in particular engaging audiences in distinctly Australian content across a wide variety of genres.
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